Crete Locals logo

Aradena Gorge

Gorge description

The Aradena Gorge, the deepest in Chania, extends 138 meters deep and is perfect not just for taking in the sights or hiking, but also for adrenaline-filled activities like bungee jumping. Trekking through the canyon until reaching the beautiful Marmara beach provides an unforgettable experience for those daring enough to descend the gorge.

Aradena is among the longest and most intriguing gorges, stretching over 15km. The old inhabitants of Sfakia, referred to it as Faragas (meaning Huge Gorge) due to its massive size, differentiating it from the other gorges in Sfakia. The gorge begins at the base of the Thodoris peak of the White Mountains, specifically from the underground stream of the Drakolakki cave. Although its total length is 15 km, the hiking route is approximately 7km long and it takes approximately 2½ to 3 hours to walk it. The hiking trail of the Aradena gorge starts from the abandoned village of Aradena and ends up in the sea.

To reach the gorge from Chora Sfakion, you journey along the road to the mountainous village of Anopoli, perched 600m above sea level, and then another 3.5km to the village of Aradena, which sits 520m high on the edge of the gorge. The village was deserted after a vendetta and was once the site of the ancient city of Aradin.

Constructed by the wealthy Vardinogiannis family, an iron bridge spans the dizzying abyss, connecting both sides of the Aradena gorge. This is where thrill-seekers can bungee jump 138m downwards, making it the highest bungee bridge in Greece and the second in Europe.

Before reaching the bridge, you’ll find an old stone path on your right that leads to the bed of the Aradena gorge, near the picturesque chapel of Astratigos (Michael Archangel). From there, a 2.5-hour hike takes you through the bottom of the gorge and on slightly challenging terrain to the Libyan Sea. The end of the trek leads you to the pristine gravel beach of Gialeskari, also known as Marmara, where you can enjoy a rewarding swim. In the gorge, you’ll encounter a 9m deep vertical pass equipped with an iron ladder for easier access, towering cliffs, and old trails leading to the walls of the gorge. Also, you’ll spot two more abandoned villages, Azogyres and Stern (St Vasilios), on the gorge’s sides.

A picturesque hour-long walk from the gorge’s exit will take you to the village of Loutro, where boats sail to Chora Sfakion. Alternatively, from the coast of Marmara, a small boat transports people to Loutro daily. If you opt not to take the boat, it’s a two-hour walk from Loutro to Chora Sfakion.


Get directions to Aradena Gorge 

Most frequent asked questions

Where is Aradena Gorge located?

Aradena Gorge is a hiking gorge located in the Chania region of Greece.

What type of gorge is Aradena Gorge?

Aradena Gorge is a hiking gorge with a signed trail.

Is there water in Aradena Gorge?

Generally, Aradena Gorge is dry.

How can I access Aradena Gorge?

Aradena Gorge can be accessed via a paved road or by boat.

How long is Aradena Gorge?

The full length of Aradena Gorge is 15 km, the hiking route is approximately 7km long.

What is the difficulty level of Aradena Gorge?

On a scale of 1 to 10, the difficulty level of Aradena Gorge is 2.

How many hours does it take to hike Aradena Gorge?

It takes approximately 3 hours to hike Aradena Gorge.

What is the altitude difference in Aradena Gorge?

The altitude difference in Aradena Gorge is 520.


User reviews

Other gorges in the area

  • 6.1 km
  • 12 km
  • 4 h
  • Hiking
  • 8.1 km
  • 6.5 km
  • 4 h
  • Hiking
  • 9.4 km
  • 11 km
  • 3 h
  • Hiking
  • 12.0 km
  • 5 km
  • 12 h
  • 12.2 km
  • 5 km
  • 4 h
  • Hiking

© All rights reserved. Crete Locals